Is Richard Simmons the new Liberace? It seems increasingly clear that he is. He’s a perennially popular mainstream entertainer beloved by Middle America whose sexuality is… a matter for speculation (his Wikipedia page indicates that he lives alone and has never discussed the matter publicly). Flamboyance, good humor and a willingness to do anything are his trademarks. He’s appeared on Letterman countless times as a human punchline—I didn’t know this until today, but there was a period of six years in which Simmons did not appear on the show because he was annoyed about an incident in which Letterman set off a fire extinguisher in his face on the air.
The endlessly energetic and enthusiastic weight-loss superstar put on the heavy metal makeup and exercise gear to leading a recent class at his Slimmons Studio in Beverly Hills. On Facebook, alongside the slogan “Sweat hugs and rock n roll!” Simmons posted the video linked below.
As Jeff Giles at Ultimate Classic Rock points out, Simmons has been doing a lot of this kind of thing lately, including wearing crazy triangle glasses, donning a sparkly leprechaun getup, and (apparently) purloining Carol Channing’s wig.
On a certain level, the idea of Richard Simmons wearing death metal face paint is hardly the most surprising thing in the world. And yet, when he does it, you just have to nod and say, “Damn, son.”
Previously on Dangerous Minds: